Construction is underway on another brewery in Grand Forks.
Oxford Brewing Company, located on North 20th Street, inside the former Sof-Teez Soft Ice Cream shop, sits a few paces away from Judy’s Tavern. In November, the city approved the separation of the legal premises of the two buildings, and the brewery has a taproom license, according to co-owner Matthew Kasper. A tentative opening is set for midsummer.
“I’m glad to see that we’re finally moving forward,” Kasper said.
Oxford Brewing Company is jointly owned by Kasper, who owns downtown bar Sledsters and Kaspers Bar and Bottle Shop, along with Mike Opp, who owns Judy’s, and a piece of the property management firm, Oxford Management Group. Opp’s business partner Christopher Kiley also has a stake in the firm.
Head brewer Robert Nelson has about 300 square feet to brew the beer using a five-barrel system. A barrel yields about two kegs. Opp said he believes they can produce two batches a week, for a total of about 20 kegs.
Customers will be able to stop by the brewery to buy or fill up growlers, and there will be a handful of seats inside -- the exact number of which is still being determined. Opp said there would be patio space for about 20 people.
The company will act as a standalone brewery and will sell its beer through a distributor. Opp said he is looking at getting some of the limited supply of beer distributed out of state.
“We’re going to try and see how far and wide we can go,” Opp said.
Kasper said he enjoys being a small business owner, and he takes satisfaction in seeing small companies grow.
“It’s fun,” Kasper said. “We enjoy this type of stuff.”
Opp said the ownership group bought the brewing equipment before the pandemic hit the country. There was a moment when they considered backing out, but decided to push forward believing a time will come when things return to normal, and people can enjoy a beer together.
“If there is some kind of economic apocalypse, I can't say that it would be bad to be able to make your own beer,” Opp said.